Melina is the executive chef of Vinsanto restaurant at Vedema and Charisma restaurant at Mystique, both on the magical Cycladic island of Santorini. In recent years, Santorini has truly come into its own as a world-class culinary and wine lover’s destination, thanks no doubt to hard-working, creative individuals like Melina. She received a very tempting offer from the owners of Vedema 15 years ago and never left. So talented yet so down to earth, Melina is discreetly weaving her culinary magic. Inspired by lost ancient recipes and the archaic settlement of Akrotiri, Melina has designed an exclusive series of innovative, neo-Greek lunch and dinner menus based on the island’s unique products: famed fava bean, one-of-a-kind white eggplant, cherry tomato, zucchini, capers and sweet Vinsanto wine. Proof that simplicity often lies at the heart of gastronomic brilliance can be found in her signature dishes.
The perfect breakfast
For me, the perfect breakfast is the one that my mother prepares using Greek products. I love graviera cheese from my hometown of Kavala in northern Greece and her rizogalo (rice pudding).
Your favourite home delivery
Bougatsa (milk pie), that I pick up from a local corner bougatsa shop in Kavala. I like the sweet version.
Your best kept secret place
The small port at Akrotiri in Santorini.
What comes to mind is my family gathered around the dinner table enjoying a traditional veal and tomato giouvetsi stew with orzo.
Your Anniversary restaurant
Dafni restaurant in Bournazi, Athens.
Dinner with friends
Hanging out at a friend’s home savoring Greek meze and local wine.
If you lost your keys, in which hotel would you spend a night?
The Grande Bretagne in Athens, where we receive special rates as it is also a Starwood property.